Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) appeared on HBO's "Real Time With Bill Maher" Friday night in a surprisingly amicable session that covered voting, climate change regulation, the drug war and the Islamic State group.
"He's the one Republican who is willing to go to the one place where Republicans don't usually speak. I admire him greatly for that," Maher said, introducing Paul.
Through the 10-mintue segment, Paul and Maher agreed on several points including the idea of opening voting rights to convicted felons and ending the war on drugs.
Turning to the recent U.S.-China climate change deal, Maher asked for Paul's stance on the issue.
"I know you're from coal, carbon Kentucky ... I just want to know what your basic feeling is on climate change," the host said, adding that depending on his position Paul could get presidential votes in the future from independents like Maher. "But not if I don't think you're seeing this issue realistically," Maher added.
Sneaking in a joking attempt to try and ditch the question, Paul got to the point.
"I'll give you the straight poop on this. There's abundant evidence that carbon is increasing and has been increasing in the industrial age. All I ask for is that the solution has to be a balanced solution and that you have to account for jobs and jobs lost by regulation. And I'm not against regulation," Paul said.
"But I don't want to shut down all forms of energy such that thousands and thousands of people lose jobs. Plus, we're a growing population and as we grow, we need more energy," he said.
"I don't think that shutting down one form of energy is a good idea for an economy," Paul added to the approval of Maher.
Paul later went on to talk about a bill he's going to introduce in Congress — the "deregulation of alternative fuel."
"I'm for government trying to get out the way of converting your trucks from diesel to natural gas or from gasoline to ethanol. Try to get the government out of there and let the marketplace take care of this because some of the these fuels are actually cheaper too, and if they're cheaper, then people will go for a cheaper alternative that also is cleaner for the environment," he said.
Pressing the issue of climate change and rising seas further, the pair hit a sticking point over the government stepping too close to regulating what goes on in people's backyards.
Watch the segment: